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Why the Rumored Villain of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ is a Very Big Deal

Why the Rumored Villain of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ is a Very Big Deal:

Guardians of the Galaxy blew us all away in 2014, not just because it was untested property for Marvel Studios but because it really took us out there in the Marvel universe. Before that film, everything had been more-or-less safely confined to familiar earthly locales like Malibu or New York City. Now here comes a movie that blends vintage pop music with tons of swagger and outer-space sites that include whole new planets and a mining colony made of a giant space deity’s head. Marvel challenged general audiences with Guardians, and now it seems the sequel is prepared to go even further.

We’ve known for some time that the team will return next year for a sequel film, but so far that’s pretty much all we know. Marvel and writer-director James Gunn have kept the plot and any major new characters under tight wraps, including the identity of the crew’s next nemesis. Now, a new rumor has surfaced that could have big implications for Marvel in space.

According to a report from JoBlo, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will introduce the character Ayesha (aka Kismet, aka HER), and that Elizabeth Debicki (The Night Manager) will play the role. Like many of Marvel’s cosmic characters, she has a long and convoluted history, but her whole deal boils down to this: She’s a genetically engineered superhuman created by a group of space scientists essentially hoping to repopulate the cosmos with a master race. As such, she’s blonde, gorgeous and incredibly powerful, and when she’s born she spends years searching the universe for suitable mate. In the comics, she’s often portrayed as a kind of wild card character and even a hero, but her ambitions could make her villainous.

What’s more interesting about this news, though, might actually be her direct association with another character. Ayesha is the female counterpart to Adam Warlock, another genetically engineered superbeing who becomes one of the most important heroes in the cosmos. In the comics, he’s the bearer of the Soul Gem, one of the Infinity Stones that have so dominated the underlying story thread of the Marvel films so far. As we speak, Marvel Studios is building to the massive two-part Infinity War film that will pit the Avengers against the mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin), who wants to gather all of the Infinity Stones to bend all of existence to his will. In the comics, this plays out in a massive miniseries called The Infinity Gauntlet, and Adam Warlock has a big role to play there.

Warlock hasn’t made any appearances in the Marvel films thus far (apart from maybe a hint in the background), and no one at Marvel has announced his presence, so this could all end up a big pile of nothing. Or it could signal a shift toward the cosmic that many comic book fans have been waiting for.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters May 5, 2017.

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